Over the last year or so, the number of people claiming back unfair bank charges has turned from a trickle to a torrent. According to Wikipedia "the movement's beginnings are generally credited to Stephen Hone, a law student. Hone requested a refund of charges by Abbey - his bank - arguing that under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, all penalty charges had to truly reflect the cost of administering them. Hone believed that penalty charges which are higher than their administrative costs are illegal."
Initially, only a few people in-the-know reclaimed their charges. The Innovators. Then it went mainstream. Then on 27th July 07, the banks and the OFT agreed to a bank charges reclaiming test case in the High Court. This effectively put a hold on bank charges reclaiming until the case has been decided.
I heard about it from a friend and told at least two others. I searched on Google to get the reclaim letter templates. The chart from Google Trends shows how many other people were interested in bank charges as well. The shape of the graph looks very much like the diffusion of innovation.
Not sure which wave I was in, but I'm pleased I made my claim and got my money back before the High Court test case was announced. A rare victory against the banks... if only temporarily